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Suryanelli mother writes to Sonia

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb. 7: The mother of the Suryanelli victim today wrote to Sonia Gandhi seeking the prosecution of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman P.J. Kurien over her daughter’s alleged gang rape in Kerala in 1996.

The mother, a retired nurse, laced her appeal with a reminder that the Congress president also had a daughter, Priyanka, and hoped Sonia would understand her suffering.

The letter said the family had learnt through newspaper reports that the “high command of the Congress party has decided to support Kurien” in the matter.

The senior Congress leader has not been named in the FIR or the chargesheet in the case, but under CrPC Section 319 a person can be tried afresh on the basis of fresh evidence or other materials.

“For us, it is heart-breaking. We think, Madam, your good self being the mother of a daughter will understand the sufferings of a mother.”

The letter also raised the question of how Kurien “can chair a discussion” when the ordinance on crimes against women comes up in the Rajya Sabha. “Such a situation will amount to tarnish the image of your great party, which has a glorious history in protecting the weaker sex.”

The mother claimed that her daughter had spoken about Kurien’s involvement to the investigators “at the early stages itself but the officers did not pay any heed”.

Even a letter to then chief minister A.K. Antony “was not given much notice”, she said.

“Though we have petitioned the present chief minister of Kerala (Oommen Chandy) and state home minister , their attitude is not positive.”